Two Literary Double Bills At St George’s Hall

TWO new literary double bills celebrating the life and works of Wilfred Owen & Sylvia Plath and Rudyard Kipling & James Joyce are to be staged at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall this March. The Write Event sees four new productions by leading local playwrights give fresh insight into the lives and works of these much-loved authors and will be presented on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 March. A Dream of Wilfred Owen returns to the Concert Room in the first of this two-part double bill and will be performed by writer David Charters and singer Lucia Novosadova. This play explores the astonishing life of poet and soldier Wilfred Owen, whose famous poetry captured the horror of the First World War. David, a Merseyside journalist who wrote the script himself, resumes his role as Owen’s ghost and haunts a sleeping man tormented by scenes of suffering on the news. He explained: “Some of the events in the play are imagined, but I believe them to be true to the poet’s spirit.” The second performance of the night sees the World Premiere of The Belfry by Dean Johnson and John Gorman. Taking its name from the famous novel The Bell Jar, the play will see John take to the stage to play the neighbour of Sylvia Plath, portrayed by Lucia Novosadova, making her second appearance of the evening. In this play, the final days of Plath’s tragic life are viewed through the eyes of a retired professor living in the flat below hers. Plath becomes depressed when her marriage to Ted Hughes fails and he abandons her and their two young children for another woman. In the freezing winter of 1963, Sylvia takes her life. The Belfry features Wirral songwriter Johnson’s musical interpretations of Plath’s poems and he admits: “It has been incredibly moving adapting Sylvia’s words to music, as she suffered unbearably to compose them.” On Friday night, the Concert Hall will host yet another World Premiere, this time If Only by Lynn Pegler. This new play explores the extraordinary life of Rudyard Kipling and the devastating personal consequences of World War One. Jungle Book author Kipling was the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. At the turn of the 20th century, he was Britain’s most popular writer. He lived through the First World War and was directly involved, writing pamphlets and poetry in support of the UK’s war aims. His son, John, disappeared during the First World War and Kipling later died without ever discovering John’s fate. Performed by Lynn Pegler and Matt Jones, this play brings to the life Kipling’s experiences during the First World War and tells the tale of the role he played, demonstrating the direct relationship between the war and life and works. The final performance in this double bill of literary performances sees Gerry Smyth’s Nora and Jim performed by Jade Thomson and Tom Galashan. In the autumn of 1909, the Irish writer James Joyce was, for two months, temporarily separated from his partner, Nora Barnacle. He promised to write every day, though there has never been any evidence to suggest that Nora replied. This play is directed by David Llewellyn and imagines how Nora might have responded to Joyce’s accusations of betrayal. Nora and Jim is a play that gives a voice to a marginalised figure. Nora’s experience reverberates through a century in which women had to fight for recognition on a wide range of fronts – legal, emotional, cultural. St George’s Hall manager Alan Smith said: “This literary double bill will showcase great local talent – we look forward to welcoming you to the Hall!” PERFORMANCE DETAILS The Write Event Date: Thursday 16th and Friday 17th March 2017 Times: 7:30pm Tickets: £13.20 each or £22 for both nights (incl. administration fee, plus £2.25 fulfilment fee per order) VENUE DETAILS The Concert Room, St George’s Hall The Great Hall, St George’s Place Liverpool L1 1JJ (Enter via the North Hall, opposite The Walker Art Gallery). HOW TO BOOK: TicketQuarter: 0844 8000 410 Online at www.ticketquarter.co.uk